NAIL-BITING FINISH IN DIGICEL ACADEMY 3-ON-3 TOURNAMENT: Haiti’s best footballers emerge victorious in match

The players participating in this year’s Digicel Academy competed against each other in a 3 on 3 tournament which saw the players from Haiti emerging the winners over Barbados after a nail-biting final match which ended in a penalty shoot-out.

Players enjoying the 3-on-3 final celebrations

Players enjoying the 3-on-3 final celebrations

The final match between Haiti and Barbados ended in a nil-all draw and so the winner was decided by a penalty shoot-out which saw the Haitian boys walking away victorious. There was still a spirit of camaraderie as the players embraced and congratulated each other on a game well-played.

Yesterday’s tournament was a warm-up for the main Round-Robin tournament which sees the players being split up into three teams; Team Lampard, Team Hazard and Team Oscar as well as the Barbados National U-17 team. The teams were names after Chelsea first team players, Belgian national and midfielder, Eden Hazard, English national and central midfielder, Frank Lampard and Brazilian national and winger, Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior. The top two teams from this knockout tournament will play in the finals on Saturday for the prize of best team of the Academy.

A Player from Panama congratulates one of the players from the winning Haitian team.

A Player from Panama congratulates one of the players from the winning Haitian team.

The players representing Haiti at the Academy are: 14 year-old Ortegat Vileus, 15 year-olds, Kenley Dede and Dérissé Wilson and 14 year-old, Denso Ulysse. One of the boys, 15 year-old Dérissé Wilson, described how he felt about winning the tournament, he said; “I am really happy that we won. All three of us stayed focused so that we would be the winning team and take the trophy back to Haiti. I am very proud that we are taking it home.”

The Digicel Kick Start Clinics programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the thousands of aspiring young footballers. These players are not only taught skills and technical ability but also an ethos of professionalism and a good attitude – critical attributes of successful people in all walks of life. Now in their sixth year, the Clinics saw thousands of aspiring young footballers from across 11 countries in the Caribbean and Central America try out for their chance to travel to the Digicel Academy.

Haitian players celebrate after winning the 3-on-3 tournament!

Haitian players celebrate after winning the 3-on-3 tournament!

During the Clinics, the best players from each country trained under the coaches in the hope of being one of the top four chosen by them to go to the Digicel Academy in Barbados to represent their country.

During the week-long Digicel Academy, the top 39 boys from across the region get the chance of a lifetime to receive intensive training under coaches from Barclays Premier League side, Chelsea Football Club.

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